The best in Europe are after centre-backs and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano will top many transfer shortlists.
The French international has been a standout for the German side for the last two seasons. Quick, technically proficient and physically strong, he’s exactly what a number of teams are looking for.
A move in January is unlikely, with Anfield Central’s Michael Mongie reporting Liverpool will make no attempt to sign him this window because of Leipzig’s determination to keep him.
It’s easy to see why the Bundesliga side is reluctant to release him so soon. Leipzig having advanced to the knockout rounds of the Champions League. They also sit only two points from the top of the Bundesliga.
However, a €42million release clause is set to activate this summer, which could spark a frenzy. With a transfer value of £54 million, Upamecano represents some of the best value on the market. One option which appears to make sense for him is at Chelsea.
A strong French-speaking contingent is already at the club and Thiago Silva’s leadership means he could settle at the club without too much immediate pressure. However, the Londoners also face reported competition from Manchester United.
With Eric Bailly injury prone and Victor Lindelof inconsistent, he could be what is needed to plug a leaky defensive line. A position alongside Harry Maguire would also represent an opportunity for Manchester United. With Maguire lacking pace and agility, a man with the athleticism of Upamecano next to him would be a great bonus. However, there will also be clubs from outside England monitoring the situation.
Bayern Munich are reportedly on the hunt for a new centre-back. Despite topping the Bundesliga, they have looked vulnerable at times defensively. Their recent loss to Borussia Monchengladbach illustrated how they can be vulnerable to balls behind their high line. Upamecano’s excellent positioning for his age, as well as his recovery pace would go a long way to fixing this issue.
Whoever Upamecano does sign for, however, will have signed one of the best value transfers in years. A defender who could lead a line for the best part of 10 years, with European and international experience? The frenzy for his signature will surely be an entertaining one.